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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Ron DeSantis attacks Patrick Murphy for war authorization 'flip-flop'

Ron DeSantis' campaign is calling Patrick Murphy a foreign policy flip-flopper.

In a statement Friday, Brad Herold -- campaign manager for DeSantis, R-Ponte Vedra Beach -- called out  Murphy, D-Jupiter, for a vote allowing continued military action in the Middle East.

On Wednesday, Murphy voted against an amendment in Congress that would have repealed the authorization of military force passed in the wake of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

It’s not the first time the issue has come up since Murphy was first elected in 2012. On four occasions, he voted in favor of repealing or cutting back on the force authorization. (DeSantis voted against each of those votes.)

Asked about the change in votes, Murphy’s campaign spokesman Joshua Karp said the congressman thinks Congress should pass a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to address more recent terrorism.

​"​Patrick supports a new AUMF to fight ISIS,” Karp said in a statement. “However, until Tea Party Republicans like Ron DeSantis are willing to work in a bipartisan manner to pass that legislation, he will not repeal President Obama's authority to take the fight to ISIS​."

But the DeSantis campaign says it’s a change of position on important policy.

“Patrick Murphy is out of his depth on national security and has amassed a terrible record on fighting terrorism, so he’s trying an election year makeover,” Herold said in a statement. “It won’t work.”

Murphy and DeSantis both want to be Florida’s next U.S. Senator, but they’re not running against each other — at least not now.

DeSantis is one of five major candidates in a crowded Republican primary field that includes U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores; Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera of Miami; Bradenton homebuilder Carlos Beruff and Orlando defense contractor Todd Wilcox.

Murphy’s main opponent in the Democratic primary is U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando.

[Last modified: Friday, May 20, 2016 7:00pm]


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